U.S. stocks started mildly lower on Tuesday, with energy shares pacing the decline as oil futures dropped 80 cents to under $77 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 16 points at 10,434. The S&P 500 Index shed 2 points to 1,104. The Nasdaq Composite declined 5 points to 2,170. Plenty of earnings for this abbreviated week. Hewlett Packard, Brocade, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hormel, and Heinz are trading lower following earnings. Analog Devices, American Eagle, Dollar Tree, Medtronic, DSW, and Cracker Barrel are all higher following earnings. After the open the averages pushed lower. One deal this morning with Windstream buying Iowa Telecom for $1.1 billion. Iowa Telecom is jumping 25%. A number of upgrades this morning. Prudential, Campbell Soup, Analog Devices, Guess, GE, and Blackrock were all upgraded. The analyst are in love with the stock market again. After the first hour the Dow dropped over 90 points, but is now trying to recover. The Nasdaq declined 16 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages slowly recovered. In the afternoon a number of Dow components moved into the green including AT&T, GE, Exxon, Travelers, J&J, Verizon, and McDonalds. Entering the last hour the averages were back to the unchanged level, but unfortunately never made it back in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 17 points at 10,433. The S&P 500 Index declined less than a point closing at 1,105, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 6 points to 2,169.
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